According to a 1985 Illustrated London News poll of artists and critics, Diego Velázquez’s Las Meninas was voted the world’s greatest painting.
Let’s take a close look at the painting, its history, and the emotions it elicits to pinpoint why.
We recently told you about our alliance with ITHAKA. The Exploring Rembrandt project with JSTOR should give you a hint of why we are so excited to be working together! It’s just a proof of concept, but it points to a world of possibilities.
In a nutshell:
You can learn how the project came about in the JSTOR Labs blog.
In 2012, 150,000 people signed a petition asking the Louvre to return Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa to its “home city” of Florence, Italy. Not surprisingly, the Louvre declined. The Mona Lisa has done its share of traveling in the past 500 years, and more often than not it has proven nerve racking.
Before we get to the travel stories, let’s look at Florence’s claim. Leonardo da Vinci did start painting the Mona Lisa in 1503 or 1504 in the Italian city, but in 1516 he was invited by King François I to work in France, and scholars believe he finished the painting there, and there it has remained. After Leonardo’s death, the king bought the Mona Lisa and exhibited it at the Palace of Fontainebleau, its home for more than 100 years, until Louis XIV took it to the Palace of Versailles. (more…)
Antonio Canova began working on Pauline Bonaparte as Venus Victrix in 1805, the same year that Pope Pius VII appointed him Inspector General of Fine Arts and Antiquities for the Papal State. By this point, Canova’s reliance upon classical sources, idealized perfection of the forms, fluidity of line, graceful modeling, and exquisitely refined detail had solidly established his reputation as the preeminent sculptor in Europe.
Venus Victrix is an outstanding example of the neoclassical style, which was influenced by the archeological discoveries in Pompeii and Herculaneum and considered the works of the Greeks and Romans to be the pinnacle of artistic achievements. The life-sized reclining nude exemplifies Canova’s superlative technique; the modelling of the form is both idealized and extraordinarily realistic, while Canova’s treatment of the surface of the marble captures the soft texture of skin. This luster was enhanced through a patina of wax and acqua di rota, and it was once set upon a rotating mechanism, which allowed the static viewer to observe it from all angles.
Yet the sculpture’s owner, Prince Camillo Borghese, refused to allow the sculpture to be displayed and would only show it to close acquaintances by torchlight. How did this come to happen? (more…)
Posted in Architecture & City Planning, Baroque Art & Architecture in Europe, Curriculum Guides, Modern & Contemporary Art, Paintings, Renaissance, Baroque Art & Architecture in Europe, Sculpture & Installations, Teaching with ARTstor on October 29, 2014| Leave a Comment »
Artstor is introducing curriculum guides–collections of images from the Artstor Digital Library based on syllabi for college courses–compiled by faculty members and experts around the country. Learn more here.
Survey of Western Art 2: Renaissance to Postmodern
Nancy Minty, Ph.D, Collections Editor, Artstor
This curriculum guide consists of a thorough overview of later western art (approximately 1300 through 2000 CE, completing the Survey of Western Art 1: Prehistoric to Gothic), presenting the cultural heritage of Europe and the New World with an emphasis on seminal works, including architecture, paintings and sculptures, manuscripts, prints, drawings and decorative arts, in addition to photography and installations. Students will hone visual and descriptive skills as they enhance their recognition of schools and styles, and, conversely, their awareness of breaks within the western tradition. Readings will be selected from survey texts as well as scholarly articles.
Posted in American Art, Asian Art, Baroque Art & Architecture in Europe, Collections, Drawings and Watercolors, Islamic Art, Latin American Art, Modern & Contemporary Art, Museums, Paintings, Photographs, Release, Renaissance on August 15, 2014| Leave a Comment »
Artstor and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston have released more than 5,000 images from the permanent collection in the Digital Library.
The images in this release include works by artists such as Diane Arbus, Alexander Archipenko, Robert Arneson, Uta Barth, George Condo, Delacroix, Dan Graham, William Klein, Dorothea Lange, Annie Leibovitz, Roy Lichenstein, Brice Marden, Claes Oldenburg, José Clemente Orozco, Irving Penn, José Guadalupe Posada, Frederic Remington, Gerhard Richter, Diego Rivera, Milton Rogovin, Ed Ruscha, Andres Serrano, Jennifer Steinkamp, Rufino Tamayo, James Turrell, Peter Voulkos, Joel Peter Witkin, Minor White, Rachel Whiteread, Frank Lloyd Wright, and many more.